Saturday, April 10, 2010

Might be correct

It's Saturday and I've been going strong since 7 am, despite only 2 hours of sleep last night. Took the kiddie to get her hair cut, went to the bank, got the bi-monthly Target shopping done, bought the rest of the make-up the kiddie wanted for prom at Ulta and the last of my weekly 5 loads of laundry is in the dryer now.

Figured I'd sit and blog in hopes of distracting myself from the bipolar urges playing tug-of-war in my brain. The manic side wants to rummage through the closet to 1) get rid of old clothes I haven't worn in the last six months so I can go on a shopping spree for summer, 2) sort through all my old LP's and buy all the ones that I can find on iTunes, and 3) find all the photos I have of my daughter, organize & label them and then scan them onto my computer. The angry, depressed side wants to drink the bottle of wine that's been chilling in the fridge all week in order to drown out all the mania that's driving me fucking batty.

The more I learn about bipolar, including the "kindling" hypothesis, and then compare the symptoms to what I've experienced since I was a child, the more I believe that bipolar might actually be the correct diagnosis. Might also explain the lack of response to meds, since I've never been treated with any of the typical bipolar mood stabilizers such as Depakote and Tegretol. The few anticonvulsants/mood stabilizers I have been on either made me incredibly sick (lithium), gave me other unbearable side effects (Trileptal), was given to replace Seroquel to help me sleep but didn't make me even the slightest bit drowsy so I only took a few doses (Zonegran) or I had no response at all (Lamictal, Neurontin).

If you remove the first two criteria for borderline personality disorder, the frantic efforts to avoid real or imagined abandonment and the pattern of intense, unstable interpersonal relationships, neither of which apply to me, the remaining criteria mirror the symptoms of mania and depression. Bipolar would better explain the rage and irritability that drags on for weeks, sometimes months, at a time instead of a few hours or days as with BPD and the patterns of sleep/no sleep that I fall into.

Instead of twisting and bending my entire life, every thought and every action, in order to try and force it to fit a diagnosis, which is what I did with the BPD one because I've always been so desperate to put a name on whatever the hell is wrong with my brain that I clung to the first diagnosis thrown my way, I've always tried to dismiss bipolar as a possibility. When I think bipolar, I always think of the mania...increased energy, talking fast, grandiose ideas, reckless spending, hyper sex drive; things I rarely experience. I forget the other side, the depression; and I forget there is such a thing as hypomania. Yet, as I said before, every time I read something new about bipolar, this "wow, that actually fits, that's me" flashes through my mind.

Suppose one way to show myself and my treatment team just how much bipolar does fit would be to keep a mood journal. Track the irritability, insomnia, depression and all the other symptoms. I've found several similar, yet different, trackers online. Just have to figure out which one will work best for me. Guess I'll go get started on that.


Blogger Wandering Coyote said...

OK, I have obviously missed a lot in this time I've been a lazy blogger.

You've been re-diagnoses? WOW. That is huge!

I can totally tell you are in a different frame of mind now than you were a few months ago, when I was worried each time I came here that you had checked out. I'm really heartened by this, Sid!

12:02 PM, April 11, 2010  
Blogger Laura said...

The only label I'm absolutely positive fits me is OCD. Unfortunately all the friggin meds I'm on doesn't do a damn thing.

Oh, by the way I'm back.

11:46 AM, April 12, 2010  
Blogger FishRobber said...

What you're describing seems closer to BP-II, which is my flavor, though yours has always seemed much more severe. Lamictal by itself seems to be working better than any of the previous combos I was on; my research found it works best at relieving the depressive side. But you say Lamictal had little to no effect on you, so ??

The hypomania for me is short, usually 4-18 hours max; not a happy high but mostly tense, angry, self-destructive, then with a deep freefall that I could feel and hear approaching. I've only had a handful of truly manic episodes. Your description of wanting to search through entire music and photo collections in one sitting - that's a page from my book.

Oh yeah: I'm the blogger formerly known as fern.

9:18 PM, June 07, 2010  
Blogger αnnα said...

Hey girl..what you are describing sounds exactly like me. Where are these trackers you mentioned?

7:39 PM, June 12, 2010  

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